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BASF Petronas Chemicals Interview

30 Questions and Answers by
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve?

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BASF Petronas Chemicals Interview Questions


  1. What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve?
    • Being able to face a challenge or stressful situation, and still gain some accomplishment, in the end, is very satisfying. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to come out on top despite being faced with an obstacle.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "In my career, so far, I feel that the most difficult accomplishment for me to achieve were the three back-to-back promotions in my current company. Because promotions are granted based on results, I had to put in a lot of overtime hours, and hustle, to get there."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My proudest accomplishment to date was completing my Degree in Chemical Engineering while also being a single parent to two young boys. The level of dedication that I had to give to both my family and my education was very tough. I couldn't be prouder of myself for never giving up."


  1. In the chemical industry there is always potential for dangerous spills and exposure to toxic chemicals. Are you willing to work in an industry that poses this type of risk?
    • The interviewer would like to know that you can professionally handle an emergency situation. Have you ever encountered a chemical spill or other emergency situation in the workplace? Talk to the interviewer about how you reacted. If you have not experienced this, discuss how you feel you would respond in this type of situation.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have experienced a couple of different scenarios surrounding chemical spills. When situations like this occur, I am sure to rely on my training when it comes to chemical related emergencies. I feel well equipped to handle a situation like this in a professional manner."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am well trained for these scenarios and fully understand the risks that come with working for BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd., and the chemicals industry in general."


  1. At BASF Petronas Chemicals we try to hire people who want to stay with us long term. What are your long term career plans and how do we fit into your plans?
    • Discuss with the interviewer your longer-term career plans and how they fit into the career path being offered by BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd.. Assure the interviewer that you are looking for a longer term fit.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am looking for a long-term career path which is one of the reasons I applied to work with BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd.. I like that you have opportunities for advancement within your team and that you offer professional development coursework. If hired, I would seek to work my way into a leadership role with BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd.."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I plan to have a long-term career in the chemicals industry. My education is geared to this as I recently graduated from Chemical Engineering. I would be happy to enjoy a long-term career with BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd.."


  1. Why is this job with BASF Petronas Chemicals right for you at this time in your career?
    • Discuss with the interviewer why you are looking to make a change, and how this particular role fits well with the changes that you are seeking. Be sure to give a more in-depth answer than the typical "I am looking for growth" answer that so many interviewers hear. Be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on the company.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am looking for growth"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have attended multiple interviews as of late, and when I walk into the offices of BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd., it already feels like home. I believe that my advancement goals will be respected here and that I can flourish in this position. Your willingness to mentor and encourage professional development is another factor that makes this role with BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd. the right one for me."


  1. When have you used an inventive method to stretch company resources beyond the normal level?
    • Every company likes to hire those who are respectful of company resources and finances. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have been able to stretch company resources.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have recently implemented a schedule that allows for ride-sharing rewards which have cut down on our company's fuel expense by $9000 per month. I am quite proud of this initiative because it is not only financially responsible but also environmentally friendly."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "This is a practice I often utilize to maximize company resources and optimize value to the clients. I recycle a lot of company materials to make the most of our resources. I also do this with people regarding cross training and sharing understanding across departments."


  1. BASF Petronas Chemicals has seasons of peak times where the workload is high. How do you handle a larger than average workload?
    • The interviewer wants to know that you can handle the workload required of you in this position and that you will not become overwhelmed if/when workloads unexpectedly increase. When workloads increase, stress levels do too. How do you react?

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are a high priority and which tasks are a lower priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I can focus on my tasks individually, rather than stress out by the multitude of tasks ahead of me."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Here are some suggestions on how to handle a large workload:

      - List your tasks and prioritize them
      - Think of which tasks add to the company's bottom line, and start there (Closest to the money!)
      - Exhale. Relax for a minute and collect yourself
      - Organize your tasks by which ones you can complete independently and which ones you need help with
      - Take sufficient breaks, so you do not exhaust yourself
      - Communicate your struggles with your leadership or team"


  1. At BASF Petronas Chemicals we take every step possible to be a leader in our industry. In your opinion, who are our competitors and what sets us apart from them?
    • It is vital to research the company before your interview. You should learn who the company's competitors are. Discuss your findings with the interviewer and be sure to speak highly of BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd. while answering this question.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have researched BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd. and see that you truly are an industry leader in the chemicals arena. From my research, I believe what sets you apart is your incredible customer service and dedication to safety. Also, it appears that your employee benefits package is one of the best in the industry."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "From my research, I understand that your biggest competitors are companies X, Y, and Z. Your branding is what sets BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd. apart from its competitors. A good brand equals trust and with your strong branding comes a great deal of public trust in your product."


  1. In your opinion, what do you think has been the biggest change in the chemicals industry in the past 10 years?
    • Talk to the interviewer about the most significant changes you have seen in the chemicals industry. Keep your answer positive by focusing on the changes that have been good for the industry.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I feel that the biggest change in the chemicals industry has been the amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These amendments have greatly assisted with the consistency of communication and expectations in the chemicals industry."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "The chemicals industry is always faced with new challenges as policy changes come all the time. The biggest challenge that stands out to me is increasing capital costs that cause knee-jerk reactions such as cost-cutting measurements that end up being poor decisions further down the road."


  1. What do you know about the workplace culture here at BASF Petronas Chemicals?
    • It is critical that you spend time researching BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd. and it's workplace culture before your interview. What did you find impressive about their culture? How do you see yourself fitting in?

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am impressed with the culture at BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd.. There are many great reviews online, and I have spoken with one of your current employees whom I know. I like that you have strong performance incentives in place for your employees and offer a safe and comfortable workplace for all. Your zero tolerance employee discrimination program is inspiring as well."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I have conducted a great deal of research on BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd. and the workplace culture that you discuss on your website. From my understanding, you boast a workplace culture of tolerance, diversity, and transparency."


  1. Budget is important for BASF Petronas Chemicals. What was the greatest cost-cutting measurement you accomplished at your previous employer?
    • If you are in a management type of role, you will often be asked to keep your eyes open for cost-saving opportunities. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of understanding the importance of this practice and give a strong example of a time when you have done so.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have been able to present cost-cutting suggestions many times to my previous employer. The one that I feel had the biggest impact was when I suggested additional warehouse staff. We had three various shifts and still an average of 100 hours of overtime per week. I presented to my employer that we hire one more warehouse employee for each shift, keeping the hours to just 120 regular vs. 100 hours of overtime pay (@1.5x) This recommendation saved the company $31,000 per year. They implemented this change across 15 warehouses the following year, amounting to nearly half a million dollars in savings per year."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My biggest cost saving measure comes regarding productivity on my team. I was able to craft email copy that I saved as a template and could send out a dozen emails at a time, all personalized, to targeted audiences to set appointments. I was able to do this multiple times per day, while also making calls, and doubled my productivity. I shared this tactic with the team and saw it implemented across the board. While I was not in a managerial role, I was able to roughly double productivity, thereby preventing the need for new hires and surpassing our financial targets for KPIs and financial metrics."


  1. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
    • On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."


  1. At BASF Petronas Chemicals we put safety first when it comes to our employees and the handling of our products. How important is safety to you?
    • Assure the interviewer that you are as concerned about safety as they are. In which ways do you put safety first? Talk about the importance of safety in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "One of the reasons why BASF Petronas Chemicals Sdn. Bhd. stands out to me as a potential employer, is your dedication to workplace safety. I feel that safety should be the number one consideration in this industry. It determines employee engagement, company profitability, and ensures a strong industry reputation."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Safety is the most important factor in the workplace, in my opinion. When working with chemicals, especially! I have attended a variety of safety training including Decontamination, Responding to Chemical Emergencies, and CPR / First Aid."


  1. In your chemicals career have you ever experienced a chemical related emergency such as a spill or injured co-worker due to exposure?
    • Assure the interviewer that you are well equipped when it comes to handling an emergency situation in the workplace. Do you have any training when it comes to chemical safety, chemical spills, etc.?

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have a spotless safety record in my work history, so I have not experienced a chemical related emergency at this point in my career. I have great amounts of training in emergency situations, as well as WHMIS and OSHA certified."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I experienced a chemical spill in one of our warehouse facilities last year. A forklift operator accidentally pierced a container. In my current position, we have rigorous spill protocols. We followed those protocols and were able to avoid any injury and toxic exposure."


  1. Tell me about any safety related training you have received when it comes to the handling of chemicals and other toxic substances.
    • Give the interviewer a concise overview of your formal and on the job training related to chemical safety and proper handling. You can be brief when answering this question but be sure to give the interviewer confidence in your abilities.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am certified in chemical safety and currently hold a valid WHMIS certificate as well as a valid OSHA certificate. I am confident in the training I have received and understand the importance of caution and safety while working around chemicals and potentially toxic substances."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "As I am new to this industry, I have not taken any safety-related training related to chemicals. If you could suggest some specific training, I would be happy to get a head start while you make your hiring decision."


  1. Do you have experience when it comes to appropriate shipping and handling of chemicals and other potentially toxic products?
    • Proper shipping and handling of chemicals are of utmost importance to the success of most chemical companies. Talk to the interviewer about your experience in transportation of chemicals.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have experience in shipping and handling of chemicals by road transportation and air. I have been formally trained in Hazardous Material Transportation Act (HMTA) and have a spotless record when it comes to transportation safety."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Because I am new to the chemicals industry, I do not have specific experience when it comes to the appropriate shipping and handling of chemicals. I am here to learn, and will do so, enthusiastically."


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